Turkish police in Istanbul have detained Aysel Tuğluk, a Kurdish politician from Diyarbakir (Amed), for questioning about a speech she made in 2012.
The detention comes in spite of the prosecution suspending Tuğluk’s 10-year prison sentence in October 2022 on health grounds.
Tuğluk suffers from dementia and was released having been in prison since 2016 on charges including “propaganda” and involvement in protests in Turkey against the ISIS seige of Kobani in 2014. Lawyers and rights groups accuse the authorities of targeting her through legal proceedings notwithstanding her medical condition.
Tuğluk was taken from her home to a courthouse for questioning related to a current investigation into the speech delivered in Hakkari (Colemêrg) in 2012.
Her condition has declined significantly in recent times, to the point where she is reportedly unable to tend to her own basic needs or follow legal proceedings. However, the authorities are continuing to pursue the 66-year-old on charges dating back many years.
Tuğluk has a long history of involvement in Kurdish politics and human rights issues. She is a founding member of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) and served as a parliamentarian between 2007 and 2016 for various pro-Kurdish parties. However, like many Kurdish politicians, Tuğluk faces terrorism charges, often based only on speeches as in the current case.